The Best and Worst Foods for Joints

Following a healthy diet for your joints is essential to prevent or improve joint diseases. Read on to discover the best and worst foods for your joints!
The Best and Worst Foods for Joints

Last update: 18 October, 2019

Following a healthy diet for your joints and consuming foods for joints is essential to ensure good physical health. Joints are exposed to daily hard work. Thus, if they’re not cared for properly, they can become severely damaged.

Joints are the points in the body where two bones meet, enabling them to move. Therefore, they consist of bone and cartilage. These structures can be easily damaged.

Both aging and physical activity significantly increase the risk of these injuries. However, if you eat the right foods, you may help protect and care for them.

A very common joint disease is rheumatoid arthritis. This disease is caused by hyaline cartilage wear. This is a highly specialized structure that covers the bone surface of joints. Only partial treatments exist for them nowadays.

Foods for Joints: Recommendations

According to scientific literature, these are some of the best foods to include in your diet:


Turmeric: One of the foods for joints.

The curcumin this root contains has been studied in various types of pain due to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Turmeric is a good ally in cases of arthritis and osteoarthritis. The good thing about it is that, unlike other anti-inflammatory agents, it doesn’t damage gastric mucosa.

Furthermore, it’s capable of reducing histamine in inflammatory processes, as well as stimulating the activity of two enzymes: glutathione S-transferase and glutathione peroxidase. These enzymes are responsible for regulating the body’s reaction to inflammatory processes, facilitating the removal of waste materials.

Olive oil

Olive oil and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the chronic inflammation associated with different types of diseases and joint disorders. Therefore, it’s important to include it in your diet.

This article may interest you: Ginger and Turmeric for Your Joint Pain Relief


Ginger and ginger powder.

Ginger is another traditional remedy for pain, as it’s quite similar to turmeric.

This natural remedy has been used for many years to treat nausea, migraines, or even high blood pressure. However, in recent years, some journals have exposed different results about its benefits for osteoarthritis.

However, a study published in the Journal of Medicine Food supports the beneficial role of ginger for the joints.

Vitamin D

Although there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, science advances every day. Recently, a comparative and randomized clinical study on the effect of vitamin D on different parameters in knee osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis of the knee was conducted.

The authors investigated whether administering this vitamin could relieve pain, improve joint function, and change some biochemical markers in 107 patients with knee osteoarthritis and hypovitaminosis D.

After a year of follow up, the authors observed that those who consumed vitamin D showed improvement in their pain and function, as well as normal vitamin D blood levels. Therefore, vitamin D is great for your joints.

Other foods for joints

Besides the foods we mentioned above, many other foods can strengthen these structures. Here are some of them:

  • Raspberries and blackberries
  • Magnesium supplements
  • Broccoli, cauliflower, and other vegetables
  • Oranges

Prohibited foods for joints

A woman adding sugar to her tea.

Consuming too much sugar and processed foods can worsen inflammatory processes, which is why it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Just like some nutrients can improve the state of the joints, others may affect them negatively. Among these foods, shellfish and red meat stand out. Both food groups can promote the development of gout.

Gout is a disease that develops due to the accumulation of uric acid in the blood. It forms crystals that deposit painfully in the joints. Therefore, it isn’t advisable to consume more than 17 grams of lean meat, chicken, or fish a day. You have to consume the remaining proteins in legumes.

Another food to avoid is sunflower and soybean oil. These oils are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can worsen inflammation. Also, be careful with industrial foods.

Finally, some studies suggest that sugar can increase inflammation. Despite offering a quick energy boost, it doesn’t last and can be a burden for arthritis sufferers.


If you want to protect the health of your joints, it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle, not overexert yourself, and follow a diet rich in vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D, among other nutrients.

It might interest you...
Food for Joint Health: What You Should Know
Step To Health
Read it in Step To Health
Food for Joint Health: What You Should Know

Nutrition plays a key role in our health. For that reason, one should adopt a diet plan that maintains and optimizes joint health.

  • Daily JW., Yang M., Park S., Efficacy of turmenic extracts and curcumin for alleviating the symptoms of joint arthritis: a systematic review and meta analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Med Food, 2016. 19 (8): 717-29.
  • Castellanos T, L., & Rodriguez D, M. (2015). El efecto de omega 3 en la salud humana y consideraciones en la ingesta. Revista Chilena de Nutrición.
  • Grzanna R., Lindmark L., Frondoza CG., Ginger an herbal medicinal product with broad anti inflammatory actions. J Med Food, 2005.